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Iran marks first day without COVID-19 death after more than two years

The file photo shows Iranian health staffers flashing the victory sign at a COVID-19 warden in a hospital in the capital, Terhan.

The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Iran has reached zero after more than two years of strenuous medical efforts aimed at containing the epidemiological crisis despite ruthless US sanctions against the country and its health system.

The public relations and information center of the Iranian Health Ministry and Medical Education announced on Thursday that no patient had died from the COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Reporting the development, Iran's official news agency IRNA said based on definitive diagnostic criteria, 175 new patients with COVID-19 were identified in the country as of yesterday, with 34 of them being hospitalized.

In the last 24 hours, as the agency reported, no patient with COVID-19 died in the country and the total number of deaths from the viral disease remained at 141,318.

Thus far, 7,052,277 patients have recovered or been discharged from hospitals.

“After two years and one hundred days of the battle of Iran’s powerful nation with the coronavirus, and while high fatalities are reported across the United States and Europe, Iran experienced the first day of no deaths from the COVID [pandemic],” Iran's Health Minister Bahram Eynollahi said in a Persian-language post on his Twitter page.

“I congratulate the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the people of Iran on this success, and I salute the great spirits of the martyrs of the frontline health workers,” he added. 

Eynollahi also called for maintaining the figure by observing health protocols until the end of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Coronavirus figures kept declining in Iran thanks to the government's mass vaccination campaign. So far, 64,550,043 people have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine, 57,866,919 people the second dose and 27,562,033 people the third dose, and the total number of vaccines injected in the country reached 149,978,995 doses.

Iran has been battling one of the deadliest outbreaks in the world, with the crippling sanctions slapped on the country by the US significantly hampering the country’s efforts to rein in the spread of the virus and provide vaccines from other countries.      

The sanctions were imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump under a “maximum pressure” campaign and have been maintained by the current administration of Joe Biden, which has refused to soften the bans to ease pandemic-related hardship on Iranians.

Iranian officials have described the sanctions as “economic terrorism” and “medical terrorism” for their deadly impact on ordinary people.

The bans, however, backfired and helped the Islamic Republic rely on its own medical and pharmaceutical capacities to develop domestically-manufactured anti-COVID vaccine, so much so that the country’s health experts rose through the ranks and promoted Iran as one of the few exporters of the coronavirus jabs.

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